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Fishing’s Future

Soccer star joins fishing participation campaign


A former professional footballer in England has been enlisted to take part in a campaign to encourage anglers to get back into fishing or try it out for the first time.

Jimmy Bullard (above right), who played for clubs that included Fulham, Wigan, Hull and West Ham, and is currently starring in Sky TV’s Soccer AM, is urging the public to give fishing a try as part of the UK-based Environment Agency’s latest fishing initiative.

With football fans eagerly awaiting this FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Chelsea, held on Saturday, Bullard used the campaign video to predict the score while fishing with his two friends. The footage sees the keen angler refereeing a ‘match’ between the duo and warning that he will dish out yellow cards to anyone fishing without a licence.

The film launches the Environment Agency’s latest campaign, which promotes the multiple benefits of fishing to encourage anglers to get back into the sport or try it for the first time. It shows the opportunities fishing offers to spend time with family and friends and relax in nature, highlighting the positive impacts it can have on mental health.

Bullard joined the campaign to remind anglers of the joys of fishing. He said: “Football and fishing are two of my all-time favourite sports so I was thrilled to take part in the video. I’ve been a keen angler since the age of seven and I get out to fish as often as I can.

“Not only do I love the sport, but it’s really important to get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. And it’s great for your mental health.

“Supporting the sport of fishing by renewing your licence is a must as the money goes back into the sport and helps replenish fish levels, improves the environment we fish in and of course avoids a fine! It’s so easy to do, you can renew it online, and having a digital copy on your phone means you don’t have to worry about leaving it at home.

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Partnerships Manager, said: “As an accomplished and mad-keen angler with his previous career as a professional footballer, Jimmy was the perfect candidate to act as referee in this unique game of fishing and to remind people of the range of benefits the sport can offer. Fishing provides a great opportunity to get out into nature, be social and boost your mental wellbeing.

“All of the money from rod licence sales is put towards work to improve our fisheries and river habitats. These efforts contribute to supporting the wider environment and maintaining the sport.“

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